3/1 ROH 13 PPV: Consistently good show

Ring of Honor 13th Anniversary PPV Review
March 3, 2015
Review by: Jason Namako of Wrestleview.com

Gonna keep this one short and sweet, due to being under the weather recently. Apologies for the lack of content in this review and for not being able to do a detailed recap for this show, which turned out to be pretty damn good all things considered.

Ring of Honor’s 13th Anniversary PPV, their third live PPV, was to me, a very good show that featured the best overall production to date from ROH with the lighting, the audio, using the crane cam and the Titantron setup. Lots of matches delivered, some the crowd fell flat for and some very much exceeded expectations.

The main event Four Corner Survival was a fun story-driven HOSS Division-style BATTEL that featured Michael Elgin showing off how much of an insane powerhouse he is, lots of stories being told with the advent of the new Knights of the Rising Dawn masked group, the return of Raymond Rowe from injury and a nice continuation of the issues between matchmaker Nigel McGuinness and Tommaso Ciampa. Lots of stories being told in a short time, but all I thought were told nicely and left a lot of good cliffhangers for future ROH shows.

The return of Samoa Joe, the staredown at the end with Jay Briscoe and his interview putting over ROH was great, nuff said. Joe is back, how long, who knows, but he is back and in one night, showed more fire and intensity than his last 5 years in TNA combined.

Jay Lethal is the best champion in pro wrestling today. His rebirth from a consistently solid babyface performer to out of nowhere, coming out of his shell to be a great heel performer portraying the Ric Flair 1980s NWA-style champion with his TV Title reign has been a joy to cover over the last year. The match with Alberto El Patron was very well done and Alberto looked the best he has looked in a match in eons, he really seemed to be hitting on all cylinders to put Lethal over huge in defeat and he succeeded in my eyes.

The Young Bucks and reDRagon added another notch to their slew of great ROH Tag Team Title matches with their outing on this show. Liked the inclusion of The Four Horsewoman’s Shayna Baszler in reDRagon’s corner, thought she did as good a job as Tom Lawlor’s did as a second to reDRagon last year. Not more much to say about this when you are talking two of the best tag teams today.

ACH and AJ Styles put on a good match, but unfortunately, the high expectations for this match led to many people, myself included, to be underwhelmed by this. It was definitely good, AJ Styles is one of the best out there right now and ACH, ever since his time limit draw with Jay Lethal last summer, has really been clicking as a babyface in ROH. The post-match emotional moment with ACH embracing Styles came off very genuine and was nice to see for someone who was in the biggest match of his career against the IWGP Champion.

Roderick Strong & BJ Whitmer told a good story in their match and the build to this was well done, but this was a point where the crowd seemed to fall flat. Strong gets a nice win, Jimmy Jacobs did very well on commentary, but unfortunately, the crowd didn’t seem to care about it too much, what a shame.

ODB & Maria Kanellis exceeded everyone’s expectations to their match going in and put on one helluva fun, frenetic match. The promo work from Maria in the video package, as well as the pre-match promo trying to back out was sensational. It still boggles my mind that WWE never went with a heel run for her during her time in WWE, because ever since she came to ROH in 2012, she has done of the best heel valet work I have seen from any female in wrestling and that includes Lana and Stephanie McMahon. Doing the culmination of the Jay Briscoe personalized title belt storyline with the Briscoes finally getting back their belt, which the Kingdom had made the Title of Love, this was the perfect place to do it at after going full bore with the story for nearly a year. ODB looked good, the interference spots by Bennett and Mark Briscoe were well-executed and Maria came to play in this. Hats off to all involved, one of my favorite things on this show.

Finally, the opening matches involving Cedric Alexander-Matt Sydal, the 3-Way Tag and MOOSE-Mark Briscoe were all solid efforts and got accomplished what it needed to accomplish. Cedric-Sydal was a good opener that planted a decent seed into a Cedric heel turn, the MOOSE match was a great showcase to show off MOOSE’s power and Mark, as the veteran, did a great job at making MOOSE look like a million bucks, then finally, the 3-Way Tag did its job of making the Kingdom a threat to the Bullet Club’s IWGP Tag Titles as there has been recent talk of the Kingdom coming into New Japan for a run.

Overall, ROH 13th Anniversary didn’t have any blow-away matches, but it did push along a lot of stories, close some others and give fans 3 hours worth of consistently good and logicial pro wrestling. Job well done to the folks at ROH, keep it up.

Jason recaps the weekly ROH TV show, as well as all of the ROH live events and PPVs for Wrestleview.com.

Twitter: @Jason_Namako
E-Mail: jason@wrestleview.com